St. Michael-Albertville second baseman Matthew Maulik delivers a hit against Buffalo Friday evening. The Knights defeated the Bison 10-5 at St. Michael-Albertville High School. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Paul Schumm, a 1990 St. Michael-Albertville graduate and the school’s head baseball coach for more than 20 years, is someone who’s familiar with the Knights and the community as a whole as it has grown in recent decades.
“I’ve seen the growth up until now,” Schumm said. “All the places I went on my snowmobile and four-wheeler back then are now houses.”
Beyond the area looking different, so too is the level of baseball being played locally. Going up against some of the state’s largest and top programs, St. Michael-Albertville is succeeding. Ranked No. 1 in the Class 4A coaches’ poll and sitting atop the ultra-competitive Lake Conference standings, the Knights continued their reign Friday with a 10-5 victory over Buffalo at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
Friday’s matchup was a special one for the program. After the team’s win, St. Michael-Albertville held a small ceremony in honor of the 2000 Knights who won the school’s first baseball championship. At that time, St. Michael-Albertville, still a smaller school in a growing community, won the Class 2A crown by defeating Montgomery-Lonsdale.
Though that group looked different than the current St. Michael-Albertville squad, Schumm said the group did have an impact on the community.
“It’s the team that got us on the map,” Schumm said. “It got people to recognize us.”
St. Michael-Albertville’s Bryce Purrier delivers a pitch against Buffalo Friday evening. Purrier gave up three hits and struck out two batters in four innings for the Knights in the team’s 10-5 victory over the Bison. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Coming off its first Lake Conference loss this season in a two-run loss to Hopkins on Wednesday, St. Michael-Albertville rebounded with a victory over Buffalo Friday evening. The Knights plated 10 runs to remain atop the conference standings, defeating rival Buffalo 10-5 at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
The Knights, ranked No. 1 in the Class 4A coaches’ poll, received offensive production from their entire lineup as 10 players reached base, including left fielder Eric Fouquette who got on base four times.
Fouquette was hit by a pitch three times and drove in a pair of runs with a single in the fourth inning. Fouquette also came around to score in the fourth. He was one of five St. Michael-Albertville players that scored in the inning, as the Knights (12-2, 9-1) sent 10 men to the plate on just three hits.
Center fielder Hunter Palmer helped power the Knights’ scoring attack. He went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two stolen bases. Second baseman Matthew Maulik had three hits and drove in three runs.
The Bison (8-7, 3-7) relied on center fielder Cole LaPlante for much of their offensive production. LaPlante’s first-inning triple helped put the Bison ahead 1-0. He went on to hit two home runs and finished the contest with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Despite LaPlante’s best effort, however, Buffalo starting pitcher Tristan Moore couldn’t keep St. Michael-Albertville’s offense locked down. Moore went four innings and picked up the loss.
Knights starting pitcher Bryce Purrier picked up the win. In four innings of work, he allowed three runs on three hits and struck out two batters.
Buffalo’s Cole LaPlante (22) slides safely into third base on a first-inning triple against St. Michael-Albertville Friday evening. LaPlante went 3-for-4 with two home runs in the Bison’s 10-5 loss in St. Michael. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
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